This offseason, Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata!(/team/roster/haloti-ngata/9225ada6-37a5-4b66-9776-1b6e4df2fb50/ "Haloti Ngata") went through a pretty drastic diet.
At least for a few moments.
The 345-pound run-stopper recently joined good friend and former teammate Edwin Mulitalo, now a guard for the Detroit Lions, in Las Vegas for a parabolic air flight, which enabled him to feel weightless as a floating balloon.
The zero-gravity training method used by NASA was a gift from Mulitalo's wife, and the Polynesian duo jumped at the chance to join the Zero G Weightless Experience for this unique experience.
Before their could join the other adventurous passengers on the specially-outfitted 747, Ngata and Mulitalo, who also checks in at more than 340 pounds, had to find the right uniform.
"First of all, I didn't expect us to be able to fit in those jump suits," Ngata said with a smile. "I was surprised they had something big enough for Ed and me. They were actually laughing when they saw these big guys walking up the ladder."
A hollowed-out shell of an airplane was what awaited them at the top, followed by a quick briefing of what was to come.
Mulitalo was specially interested, retaining much of the information weeks after the flight.
"The way you do parabolic flying is they take you in a 747 airplane which they (have gutted) out and put 25 seats in the back," he began. "[Then] they take you through the motions of nose dives and you experience weightlessness. There are three parts: the first is the 'martian level', which is one third of your weight; 'lunar' is when you're one-sixth of your weight, and 'zero G' is weightlessness."
With over 20 other passengers on board, the sight of two NFL players may have been a little shocking, but Ngata and Mulitalo were seasoned pros at controlling their massive bulk once that zero G point was reached.
"We tried to do some pass-rush when we were up there, but when you try to do it weightless you hit each other and you fly both ways," Mulitalo noted. "Just the concept of two 350-plus-pound guys being pushed around, flying and weighing nothing is a funny sight to see."
Ngata is already thinking about when he and his wife can go without gravity.
And although skydiving is another way for an adrenaline junkie to experience a similar rush, Ngata is definitely ruling that out.
"No, absolutely not," he said of jumping out of a plane. "Do you think that a parachute could handle a big guy like me? I don't want to be the one to test it."